Trend article #1: Authenticity
Go grab five diverse items in your house; it can be a bathroom product or a food wrapper, anything will suffice. Place your five items side by side. Now, take notes on what you might see as far as font, colors, or textures. Take your time and be observant.
Now, it may be a selection bias of where I shop, but of the items that I have used for this little exercise in observation there is one uniting factor. That is the feeling of authenticity that it elicits.
That may seem abstract, so allow me to clarify. If you look back on the past decade from a historical perspective, it will undoubtedly be noted that there is an integration of all things digital into everyday life. Recently with the rise of a new consumer generation there has been a backlash against the ephemeral and intangible digital world. This is seen, oddly enough, on digital platforms. For instance Instagram celebrates photos that look like they were taken from cameras from the 1960s to the 1980s (i.e. photos with visual flaws and imperfections).
With this new generation of consumers demanding a more authentic feel, and the rise of their entrepreneurial counterparts wanting to supply goods that fit that vision, there has been a flood of packaging design with authenticity in mind.
Elements that make up the authentic aesthetic are myriad. There are, however, a few main ones that stick in my mind.
Hand drawn typography is an obvious choice when designing fonts for retail packaging geared toward younger consumers. Hand drawn elements are an outright rejection to perfectly constructed computerized fonts that we have grown accustomed to. Having a few measured font inconsistencies (or roughness) in your packaging design and product design evoke the feeling of authenticity in the mind of today's consumer.
Another facet that you can look to fine tune in your packaging and product design is material used. To give your packaging (especially) the authentic treatment look to use natural and textured material. Such things as cardboard make great material, giving the packaging a more rustic and 'real' character.
Finally, traditional American art has recently won favor with those who seek visual authenticity. This design school relies on hard outlines and basic colors, appealing to lovers of a bygone era where things were simpler. What's old is new.
This all only scratches the surface of what is contained in the idea of authenticity. It is an area that is still getting the boundaries extended and defined by artists and graphic designers. One such graphic designer who can inject your product design and packaging design is Tom Lien of Lien Design, in San Diego, California. Tom has years experience working with companies large and small to create and redesign product design and packaging design to include authenticity, among other attributes.